Seminars & Events
Monday, February 11, 2013: Dr. Daphne Soares (University of Maryland College Park) will speak on "The Sensory World of Cavefishes" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, March 4, 2013: Dr. Joe Cheer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Endogenous Cannabinoids and the Pursuit of Reward" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Friday, April 12, 2013: Dr. Jill McGaughy (University of New Hampshire) will speak on "The Role of Cortical Norepinephrine in the Ontogeny of Executive Function" at 3:00 pm in Schaefer Hall 106.
Dr. Erin Johnson '02 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and was inducted as an alumni member of Nu Rho Psi.
Ron Saul, "Chronic activation of the substantia nigra nociceptin/orphanin receptor induces motor deficits similar to Parkinson's disease," 2008. Saul, the 2008 winner of the Neuroscience Award, infused a drug into the substantia nigra of rats and measured the resulting motor behaviors, mood disturbances, and cognitive abilities.
Bernstein, Julie (2011). Perinatal exposure to bisphenol-A: alterations in adult behavior and dopaminergic functioning. (Mentor: A.M. Brady)
Bisphenol-A (BPA) in an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptor widely used in the production of plastics. Under certain conditions, BPA can leach from plastic containers into food or drink, and enter the body. Due to its lipid solubility, BPA can cross the placental barrier and interfere with development. Estrogen plays a vital role in sexual differentiation and dopaminergic gene transcription during gestation and lactation; BPA is predicted to interfere with these processes. In particular perinatal exposure to low-dose BPA is expected to: expedite puberty onset in females, alter development weight gain, reduce sex differences in measures of anxiety in the elevated plus maze, impair learning and memory in the Morris water maze, alter social interaction, produce hyperlocomotion, alter drug-induced locomotion, reduce TH-positive cell counts in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area, and reduce TH fiber density levels in the nucleus accumbens. We administered the E.P.A.’s safe daily limit, 50 µg/kg/day BPA, from embryonic day (ED) 14 – postnatal day (PD) 20 by maternal oral exposure and measured behavior in adult offspring after PD 56. Females exposed to BPA showed trends of earlier pubertal onset and impaired weight development in both males and females. BPA was seen to increase social behavior and produce hyperlocomotion in both sexes, yet blunted amphetamine-induced locomotion only in males. Although BPA did not alter TH levels, further analysis should be done to account for variability. Overall, perinatal exposure to a considered safe BPA dose is seen to produce developmental and behavioral impairments in offspring.